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British Gas to reward off-peak energy use

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

British Gas is the latest supplier to indicate it will offer an incentive to customers to reduce their energy use during peak times this winter.

The energy giant said it “supports the development of the ‘Demand Flexibility Scheme’ and is currently working with National Grid Electricity System Operator”.

British Gas added it will be in a position to start trialling a scheme later this year, and said: “We are working on a scheme that would reward customers who reduce their usage during peak times with a target of around a 30% reduction. Customers will need smart meters to take part.”

It comes after National Grid – working with energy providers – looks to run a scheme which will see households paid for using items such as washing machines and dishwashers during off-peak hours.

This is to reduce the risk of energy shortages as it warned that in the worst-case scenario, the UK energy supply may suffer blackouts this winter, with 4pm to 7pm during the weekdays in January and February a possibility in the “worst case scenario”.

CEO John Pettigrew, said rolling power cuts may need to be imposed if generators fail to secure enough gas from Europe to meet demand; where there was a particularly cold snap and where wind speeds were too slow to power turbines.

Off-peak energy use incentives

As part of the ‘Demand Flexibility Scheme’ trial phase, it is expected to run from November until March 2023. Its aims are two-fold: prevent blackouts and save billpayers money.

Earlier this year, Octopus Energy trialled a similar scheme which paid around 100,000 customers for reducing the amount of energy they use in peak hours.

OVO Energy will pay up to £100 for customers who use less energy in the peak hours between 4pm and 7pm.

It said participants to its ‘Power Move’ scheme will need to cut their average consumption during the peak hours to less than 12.5%, the equivalent of moving three loads of washing per week from peak time to a greener time of day.

The trial scheme will run between November and March with households potentially able to knock £20 per month off their bills.

However, even if you are an OVO customer, you can’t sign up to the scheme. It will contact select customers by email to join.